Wednesday, August 30, 2017

ART- Trip to the Park

My Art Group from the Stroke Recovery Association of Manitoba wanted to try a few things this summer that we can't do very easily in the winter. One of the activities we picked was a trip to a the beautiful Leo Mol Sculpture Garden located in the Assiniboine Park.

The nine of us took a quick walk through the English Gardens and then we went into the sculpture garden. Most of our group had never seen this part of the park before and were surprised at  how big and beautiful it was. We all appreciated the benches and beautiful views located along the way. The park staff was just starting setting up for this evening's huge fundraiser Garden Party and it was interesting to see the place change for this very fancy party as the staff set up tables and displays. I wish I could have afforded to go in the evening and enjoy
the final product!

It was perfect weather, warm, sunny, with a bit of a breeze. and we just enjoyed the lovely displays during these last lovely summer days. We followed up by returning to the restaurant located nearby. The wait for the restaurant was the worst thing about the outing. It was over an hour before we got seated at a table and we had worries about getting to eat before the pick up times for some of our people who use our local handi transit system. It all turned out but if we do this kind of an outing next year I think we should bring a picnic lunch!

It was nice to be outside and see such beautiful plants and art. It was a pleasure to spent the day with our group. 

Special Thanks to my husband Bob for coming along and supporting us.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Cinco de Mayo Themed Guiding Event

Last night  my daughter and I attended our Girl Guide Area Annual General Meeting at a local community center. It is an event open to the adult volunteer Guiders in our local section of Manitoba. Last year our Grand Pines Area membership was over 3300 women and girls.

I had an awesome time. They had a great Cinco de Mayo theme for the event and they carried it through from the decorations, food to music and even more. The organizers had us shout out answers to Mexican themed trivia questions to choose the order in which tables of guests went up to the buffet .

We got festive drinks,  pulled strings on piƱatas and enjoyed a great taco dinner.

 There were door prize draws and my daughter got one of them. There is an outing at a trampoline facility in her future.

I have been to lots of general meetings for volunteer organizations over the years but it is always feels  so different at Guiding ones. You can feel the passion, energy, and yes- fun in the room. We are part of the largest association in the world for girls and women and we have so much to be proud of. The annual report is a joy to read because of the great ideas and experiences shared in the reports and as you look at it you can see the impact that our organization has on our members and those we come in contact with.

There were lots of awards given to members and we heard about some wonderful achievements that happened in the past year of Guiding in the Grand Pines Area.  I got a chance to visit with people I don't see too often and it felt like a family reunion. It is great to be part of the sisterhood of Guiding!


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sharing New Ideas Here

I would like to start  sharing more of the resources and different projects I do with my art groups and some other therapeutic recreation interests on this blog.

I have felt very uncertain about putting actual programs up on the blog. It is a little bit unnerving somehow. Leading a Healthy Life is and always will be about my personal journey and the things I feel passionate about.  I have shared a lot of personal information here over the past nine years since I started this blog on the advice of my occupational therapist.

I keep thinking that I should open some kind of professional themed website or blog for the purpose of sharing recreation therapy ideas and local resources and yes, I do get asked once in a while if my projects or programs are on line for others to get ideas. I really don't want to divide my blogging efforts between two spaces but I have been a bit hesitant to let professional colleagues have access to my umm... vulnerable side which I occasionally share here.

The other side of the issue is that I think the programs I can share would be useful for some of the people who already visit this blog. People who have experienced some major life changes, caregivers and some of my friends might be interested too.

I have worried about this for a long time now and have finally worked it through in my own head. I am comfortable in who I am and I can own the experiences I have had. I have gone through a lot of ups and downs but I still keep going and the times when I have not coped well just show I am human and need support. That is not something to hide but something to be proud of.

I am looking forward to sharing some new posts with art projects, theme ideas and resources as well as more of the healthy living and therapy ideas I learn about on this journey.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What are you waiting for?

I was recently at a meeting where we had a large group discussion and talked about changes we could implement. It was a bit of an exercise in discussing needs and goals and then coming up with creative solutions. I was happy - that's my kind of thing~

The take away lesson was to take responsibility for the changes you want to see next around you. Try and come up with ideas but don't just stop there. Don't assume it is someone else's responsibility and sit there waiting for things to changes.  Just go for it yourself and make positive change happen.

So what are YOU waiting for? What are you going to do to make a difference?

Sunday, April 16, 2017

What is a MOOC?

Yes I have done one. Yes it is a good thing to do.

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course.

Learning has changed and now major institutions put out courses on the internet for no charge. People everywhere can access it. Now that does not necessarily mean that you will have course credit towards a degree, but for certain classes you just might. What it does mean is that we have the ability to be life long learners. We have the ability to explore a topic of interest to us in a way that never existed before.

Two years ago I signed up for a MOOC from the University of Tasmania in Australia called
Understanding Dementia. Now the selling part for me is the part about it being free. I had a lot of knowledge about Dementia thrown at me when I was getting my Therapeutic Recreation Certification but I felt like there was still a lot that I did not truly understand. It is a very complex and devastating disorder that is becoming increasingly common with our aging population and I wanted to learn more.

I found myself signed up, doing a questionnaire and registered in a nine week course that offered a set of online learning modules. They had videos with the experts, cartoons, videos, interviews and text to read. It was pretty simply presented but yet very thorough. There were student forums where you could discuss topics and you were occasionally expected to post. There were people from all over the world, There were health professionals and there were researchers, family members of people with dementia and there were people diagnosed with dementia who all wanted to learn about their common interest. There were indeed end of module quizzes but if you made mistakes you had a chance to learn from your mistakes and repeat the quiz. They were not something to rank you or for you to worry about

In the end I actually finished and got my course completion certificate from the University of Tasmania. Pretty cool for a lady sitting at her computer in Winnipeg Canada Eh?
If I was interested in doing a degree in Tasmania this course would be credited for the program.. it is indeed a real university course.

They have a second free class about possibly preventing dementia and I think I will do that one too.

The following little video is from a page that gives links. Look here to find lots of amazing places your can find a class to take for free.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Lollipop Moments - Making a Difference

One of the best talks I have ever gone to was a keynote speech at the 2017 Recreation Connections Conference. Do you think you are making a difference? This man has one of the top TED talks. He is an expert in Leadership who has championed the idea that leadership is not some big goal that is only for experts and tops in their fields. Drew believes that everyday moments can have a profound impact and that everyone has the ability to make a difference in their world and the lives of the people they meet. On top of all the wonderful lessons he had to share it was just plain fun listening to him.

Please enjoy listening to Drew Dudley talking about Lollipop moments and about leadership.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Oreo Day

March 6th is Oreo Cookie Day

Yes really, and Oreos are now 105 years old.

I was going to do a program all about Oreos at work yesterday but it turned out to not be a good day to do a cooking program so I will postpone the activity for another day.  I read out loud inspiring stories about pets instead.

I feel a little disloyal talking about Oreos. I have now spent 3 decades promoting and selling Girl Guide Cookies. Twice a year we have cookies. In the fall we sell nice chocolate mint wafer cookies and in March we get sandwich cookies where half the package is chocolate wafers with a fudgy filling and the other half is vanilla wafers with a white filling. I cannot begin to tell you have many cookie based games, teaching lessons, crafts and promotions I have done with kids from 5 to 18. I could easily write a book on just that topic.

Maybe now that I am moving this project to May I should add in a taste test of Girl Guide Sandwich cookies vs Oreos!  I am pretty sure the Girl Guide ones are much more delicious ~ especially when purchased from adorable little girls who are trying to help pay for camp.

My Oreo Day cooking plan is a pretty simple one.
I am going to make up a chocolate instant pudding with the seniors  and also a vanilla pudding. Then I am going to use clear plastic tumblers and layer chocolate, vanilla in the middle and then more chocolate pudding. Top it with a bit of Cool whip, sprinkle with purchased Oreo cookie crumbs and if appropriate top with a mini Oreo cookie.

I like to do pudding based projects occasionally because some people have special needs for soft foods due to swallowing difficulties and so it lets a few more people enjoy the food based session. Besides, pudding is yummy!

Here are some fun links I will be using for a discussion. Be sure to check out the personality one. (It does have a bit of an edge in some of the lines so I would not read it all out loud at work.)

In case you are wondering.. I am a sandwich cookie dunker so the quiz says...
Every one likes you because you are always up beat. You like to sugar coat unpleasant experiences and rationalize bad situations into good ones.

The History of the Oreo

Oreo Fun Facts

How to Eat an Oreo Cookie

Oreo Cookie Personality Test

Pinterest has loads of Oreo cooking ideas from cheesecakes to dips and so much more.

Chocolate covered Oreos with seasonal sprinkles! is one I would like to do myself or perhaps with my older, teenaged, Girl Guides in the near future but using the Girl Guide cookies. grin

How do you eat your sandwich cookies?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Project 11 - Promoting Mental Health Awareness

I attended a key note speech at the conference yesterday. The write-up in the conference brochure did not initially strike me as too exciting. It was a hockey big shot talking about some project that was promoted by the hockey and entertainment power group in this area. I thought " Ha! One more feel good, look good community involvement plug."  but I was so wrong.

The amazing speaker was Craig Heisinger, the senior vice president and director of hockey operations for the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League. Heisinger talked about his close friendship and mentorship with an incredible young player who advanced in hockey and about the player's issues with anxiety, depression and other mental Health issues.

Project 11 is an initiative started in memory and honor of Manitoba Hockey Player Rick Rypien who died of depression at the height of his career. It is a program aimed at students from grades 5 to 8 and designed to promote mental health awareness and teach positive healthy coping skills.
Please Check out their website for more information and some inspiration.

The following video is truly excellent. It is well worth watching.

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